Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sexism in Gaming

Oh my. You ladies are gonna LOVE this one. Especially my fellow geek ladies. Brace yourselves. This is a doozy.

Behold, an email from Gamestop that was sent (not to me) with the subject line: "Send her flowers so you can game!"

(Click to enlarge)

Yes men, that's right. Don't worry about your pesky girlfriend keeping you from gaming on Valentine's Day. Just shut her up with pretty flowers and game away! Because you obviously have to choose one or the other. You can't have both. Silly men!


I don't even know where to start. The misogyny is ASTOUNDING.

I already hate GameStop. Amazon has much better prices. So boycotting them is a start, but it doesn't change much for me. I can't even begin to think of a proper way of punishing them for this drivel.

When I was single for the first time in 6 years, I wasn't sure where to start. I don't do bars or clubs. I didn't have a way to meet new guys. So, I turned to online dating. I wasn't ready to pay for a site yet, nor could I really afford it, so one of the sites I used was Craig's List.  I posted the following personal ad:

Hello! I'm a positive, confident, outgoing Wiccan woman. My religion is important to me, but I don't need to date another Pagan necessarily. I'm 4'11", curvy, long brown hair and brown eyes. I love singing, reading, computer games (WoW, D2, AOE, etc.), nature, animals (especially cats, rodents, and reptiles), and lots of other random stuff. I'm very easy-going and down to Earth. I'm looking for a guy with some similar interests, a good sense of humor, around age 25-35. I'd like a LTR eventually. So drop me a line, and a pic if you have one, just cuz I'm curious. =)

One of the responses (among the dozens of truly horrid ones) was my now-husband Simon. He was intrigued by our shared interest in gaming. After a few dates, the first time I came over his house was to play WoW together. We even had WoW-dates from our own homes where we chatted on Vent while playing. I guess you could say our relationship is based on gaming. TOGETHER.

There has never been a time where he's need to bribe me to "let" him game. I even went to a LAN party with him and was the only girl there. I had a BLAST. I may seem unusual. I may seem like a dying breed. I AM NOT.

If you visit my Twitter and see some of the ladies I follow, you'll find a WHOLE LOT of women gamers. We exist. We are normal. And we're AWESOME. So guys? Ask us to game WITH you. Don't bribe us, don't sneak off, don't exclude us. We're here, and we LOVE to game.

GameStop? Seriously, STFU. That email was so full of fail I can't even properly express my rage. Sexism FTL.


I sent the following email to GameStop:

I would like to complain about a recent email sent to Gamestop customers (presumably just your male ones) with the subject line "Send her flowers so you can game!"

This is the most sexist, misogynistic, and misguided email I have ever seen. It purports a number of fallacies:

1. Girls don't game.
2. Girls don't like it when their boyfriends game.
3. Girls have to be bribed to LET their boyfriends game.

Is that really a message you want to be sending? You do realize that almost half of gamers are female, right? Obviously you had no idea.

So on Valentine's Day, instead of spending ONE DAY with your significant other, you need to bribe her to "let" you play a game. Men aren't allowed to game WITH women? Men can't take a day off from gaming? Men need to ask PERMISSION to game? I'm not sure what kinds of relationships your advertising department has had, but they can't have been healthy.

My husband and I started dating because we both love to game. We are now married and continue to game together. There are also women who watch sports, drink beer, and do all kinds of "manly" things you think we aren't interested in.

Neither my husband nor I, nor many of our friends, will ever be shopping at your store again. You obviously don't appreciate your female customers, or even acknowledge that you have any. I am disgusted.

Sarah Nelson

P.S. - Feel free to read more of my rant in my blog, which is making its way around the internet so everyone knows how sexist your company is.



  1. Wow, that's really sad :( My husband says that it was the fact that I could kick his ass at every game that we played together that made him propose to me.

    Hopefully the gaming industry will get a clue one of these days and market towards men AND women because, as you say, we are NOT a dying breed.

    1. Almost half of gamers are women. These people are MORONS.

  2. Well said sister! When it first came out I liked playing WoW w/ Paul. I had figured I might as well try it and actually found I liked it. That sort of thing ticks me off and unfortunately, it's not just GameStop it comes from other places too.

    1. I had forgotten your comment about sports when I first wrote this, so I added it in my email to them. Activities and interests are not one-gender only! >:(